A writing career means strapping on your courage and going into a series of battles every day.
1. Writing the book/story.
3. Sending your baby out into the world.
You have to have absolute faith in yourself and your work because there are no guaranteed outcomes. And that can be hard, because fear is more than willing to ride up & keep you company. So here are some tips to keep on track:
Set achievable goals --and meet them. For example, 3 pages a day is achievable for most people, but some people can write almost 2,000-plus words daily. Know yourself and set goals that fit you.
Let go of the negative and accept a positive attitude --I can do It! Believe in yourself.
Allow yourself to write a crappy first draft. You can fix it later. This gem is oft repeated by many authors and remains true.
Evaluate your critiques and rejections.Seek patterns that teach you about where you are as a writer and help you grow.
Take small steps and advance -- writing groups, contests, writing classes.
Ask yourself what you want? How can you make it happen? Then do one little thing everyday from that list.
Most important: Celebrate your achievements! And that includes rejections, because each and everyone of those is a sign that you are taking action.
Books I've found useful:
Noah Lukeman THE FIRST FIVE PAGES
Stephen King ON WRITING
Christopher Vogler THE WRITER'S JOURNEY (actually, I prefer Joseph Campbell, but many folks swear by Vogler, so I'm including it)
Donald Maass WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, THE FIRE IN FICTION
James Frey HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD NOVEL
Robert McKee STORY
Blake Snyder SAVE THE CAT!
Anne Lamott BIRD BY BIRD
Dwight Swain TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER
James Scott Bell REVISION AND SELF-EDITING, and PLOT AND STRUCTURE
Some very useful blogs that teach you the business & the craft:
Alexandra Sokoloff's blog